Interview With Stuart Wright - Founder Of AVForums!

The Sandman

Well-known member
We've just published an Interview with Stuart Wright, who has just completed a massive conversion of his AVforums from vBulletin to XenForo.

Here's a taste:
Can you give us a brief history of AVForums?

The only online community for UK people into home cinema (home theater in the US) in 2000 was a newsgroup where swearing, abuse and cliques where common. So I decided to start a forum for home cinema enthusiasts which would be a welcoming place, free from bad language and abuse. I linked to it from the tech magazine websites I ran and a little later I secured and rebranded the site. The wife has helped me from the start, mainly handling the financial side. Being self employed, we work over 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2004 the site hit 'critical mass' and traffic and membership increased exponentially for a while.

Can you give us a perspective on just how large and how busy it is (stats, server setup, staff size, personal time commitment, etc.)?

About 250 forums, 1.6 million threads, 18.8 million posts and 272,000 members. We have 30,000 banned member accounts! Mostly, of course, from spammers who we dispose of rapidly.

We have one web and one database server with an additional sandbox server. I have no idea what their specifications are as I let Tim Dunton at Nimbus Hosting deal with all the server side of things.

Aside from me and the wife, we have one employee who manages editorial. We use a company who sell advertising on the site and manage all the commercial enquiries. They know the forums and the industry very well. We have a couple of virtually full time freelance editorial writers and several more part timers. And we have about 60 volunteer moderators.

The wife and I have separate offices at home and we communicate by Skype, emails and shouting across the hallway. Everyone else working for and with AVForums does so from home.

I start work at about 7am most days and clock off at 9pm. The wife is about the same. Of course we take time out as we want, but even when on a beach I have my iPad handy.
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